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RISMEDIA, Nov. 17, 2007-Even top producing agents have slow days… or weeks or months. Maybe the economy is slow or it’s that time of year. Perhaps you feel as though you have been saddled with some poor prospects or that you are just another victim of the mortgage meltdown. Whatever the cause or the perceived cause of your current slump, it really does not matter-those things are outside of your control. To dump your slump, you need to concentrate on what you can control. Here are ten tips to get you back on track.

Hold yourself accountable

As a real estate agent, you are an entrepreneur. This means that your compensation is tied directly to your production. You have to sell homes to earn your keep, so you cannot afford to sit around waiting for the economy to turn around or a slow season to pass. You have to start working to make something happen. When the housing market is slow, you need to ramp up your efforts, not scale them back.

Figure out what’s changed

Ask yourself, “What has changed?” If you can figure out what changed between the time when sales were brisk and when they began to slump, you usually know what you need to start doing. Perhaps when you were first starting out, you were making 200 cold calls a week, but you stopped doing that as soon as you had plenty of customers. In many cases, you simply need to get back to what you were doing when you were more successful.

Set a goal and reward

When you’re in a slump, it’s easy to lose your motivation. Set a goal and dangle a reward in front of yourself to provide some added incentive. Your goal may be process oriented, such as making 50 phone calls a day for the next month, or results oriented, such as achieving a certain gross dollar amount in sales for the month or quarter.

Once you select a reward, create a reward collage by clipping photos that remind you of the reward and pasting them on a poster board. Keep your collage close at hand, so you can keep reminding yourself of what you are working toward.

Surround yourself with positive people

Both positive and negative attitudes are contagious. Avoid people in your office who poke fun at goal setting and other motivational tools, and gravitate toward those who have a positive, can-do attitude. People with positive attitudes will encourage and challenge you to do your best and have fun doing it. The others will simply sap your energy.

Focus on the fundamentals

When a professional baseball player is in a batting slump, the batting coach examines the videotapes and tries to find out what the batter is doing wrong. Then, he encourages the batter to focus on the fundamentals, the mechanics of swinging the bat.

When you find yourself in a sales slump, focus on the fundamentals of selling. Are you building solid relationships with your clients? Are you following up after the sale? When you show homes, are you really listening to what the buyers want?

Pick up the phone

Every day, five to six days a week, I make 100 phone calls. I call it my Hour of Power. I call my clients just to touch base. In many cases, I get an answering machine and leave a message. I don’t spend a lot of time on each call, and I never try to sell anything. The sole purpose is to let my clients know that I’m thinking about them.

Although this may not generate instant sales, you soon observe your sales numbers climbing. Try it. Start slow with say 25 to 50 calls per day, but work toward that magic number of 100. It really does make a difference.

Grow out of it

Sales slumps can often be caused by success. You achieve a certain level of success and for some reason cannot seem to break through the barrier to the next level, so you lose interest and sales taper off.

Perhaps you simply need grow out of it. Set a higher goal, figure out what you need to achieve that goal, and get to work. Need an assistant? Hire one. Need some new technology? Buy it.

Write something

The Internet has completely revolutionized the way everything is sold, including real estate. In the past, clients would hire us to obtain the information we had available through the MLS. Now we have to provide the information first to prove our expertise before a client will hire us. Now, content is king.

Provide prospects with the information they need to make well-informed purchase decisions, and you are likely to earn a client. Create a Web site or blog and start writing, contribute to other people’s blogs and to newsgroups where prospective clients hang out, write articles for online publications related to your product or service. Establish yourself as an expert, and people will buy from you rather than from your competitors.

Hire a coach

Sometimes, you may be too close to your situation to view it objectively. A reputable agent coach can quickly assess the situation, tell you what you’re doing right and what you’re doing wrong, and offer several suggestions that you can immediately implement.

Start right now

Many people set a date when they plan on implementing changes. They say they’ll start dieting after Thanksgiving of stop smoking on Monday. Don’t put it off another minute. As soon as you have a plan in place, start working the plan immediately. Why wait? Seize the opportunity now!

Ralph R. Roberts, official spokesperson for Guthy-Renker Home and author of Advanced Selling For Dummies (John Wiley & Sons), can be contacted at 586.751.0000, or by e-mail at

To learn more about Ralph, visit